Iteration of an Installation by Seismic Vibration

Pierre Jardin’s most recent publicly displayed stone stack stood amid library stacks in the groundfloor landing at Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University. Installed for a conference on June 20, the work was modified by an earthquake on July 5. Photos and didactics for the two iterations follow below.

Gravity of Situation

The Gravity of the Situation

Lava rock, Palos Verdes shale, gravel

Installation by Pierre Jardin

The title evokes an Anthropocene sense of urgency, coupled with geologic volatility and fragility in a period of climate change, mass extinctions, and environmental degradation. Time’s arrow itself seems to be hanging in the balance, as these processes affect human and inhuman cycles, rhythms, and temporalities. The free-standing stone sculpture stages a contrast between ephemerality, embodied in the precarious balance of stones, and the deep time of rocks. Stone stacks, like mortal human life, persist in a temporality that could be thought of as a suspended sentence: stacks are doomed to fall at an uncertain time, just as we know we are sentenced to die but usually do not know when or how. Balancing stones demands a meditative suspension of attention, which opens an aporia where the ephemerality of precarious cairns commingles with the aeonic calm of absorbing rocks.

Fallen stack


Lava rock, Palos Verdes shale, gravel

Installation by Ridgecrest Earthquake & Pierre Jardin

The title evokes an Anthropocene sense of submission, coupled with geologic volatility and fragility in a period of climate change, mass extinctions, and environmental degradation. The balanced stack has been leveled by tectonic waves; sculptures of sufficiently delicately poised sensibilities are especially susceptible to them. In fact, nothing else in the library fell during the July 5 7.1 earthquake, whose epicenter was 150 miles from L.A. The rocks fell as Pierre Jardin designed them to in case of perturbances—away from the floor and visitors. The vertical spine stone toppled into a horizontal bridge, spanning what becomes a de facto waterway or moat, linking the shorestone island to a rugged basalt coastline. Yet this formal fit of fallen stones bespeaks a restful harmony belied by the telluric shearing that shook them down. Aeonic calm suffers instantaneous obliteration when geologic time erupts abruptly into human history. Jardin feels humbled, taken down a notch from aspiring to commingle with rocks, and humbled to have gotten to collaborate (through passive reverberation) with the earth on a public piece.


Listening to Stone

Listening to Stone Arches

Cavities in bones

The earth groans in lithic tones

Listening to stone

This composition pairs a photo taken under North Window Arch at Arches National Park with a contemporary haiku. It expresses an Anthropocene attention to the earth, one attended by tension arising from a sense of fragility, vulnerability, and collapse. Standing Rocksfalls closeupbelow a large boulder barely clasped in an exposed groove in the arch overhead, the hearer’s ear anxiously listens for any sound from above, having been alerted by signs in the park.


Arches boulder above peopleThere is a suspense, a dread, in anticipating the moment when changes along the deep timescale of arch formation from erosion will reach a tipping point, and the effects of wind, water, and gravity will free the rock from the arch. One regards unsuspecting visitors below the rock as unwittingly playing a game of Russian Roulette.

While geologic deep time is often seen as antipodal to mortal life, the haiku expresses an intersection of earth and human timescales. Both bodies are fragile: the first line echoes the Chinese Taoist view that “stones are the bones of the earth,” and here a cavity within an arch, itself a cavity worn away by erosion, exposes the perishability of rock. The line also evokes the delicacy of ossicles in the ear’s tympanic cavity. The rhymed lines mark a break from traditional Japanese haiku, which is grounded in a harmony between humans and nature. Similarly, the conventional reference to a seasonal time in classic haiku is replaced by a moment in Anthropocene time, an imminent occasion when geologic volatility would crash into a human present, with crushing consequences.

Lose the Technology, Gain the Geology!

In a desperate attempt to defeat the despair he feels when pedestrians pass by so preoccupied with their phones that they fail to notice his stones, Pierre Jardin posted this petriverse prompt as a provocation–and perhaps a drone stone zone

The worst offenders are parents glued to their screens and/or talking loudly, while their neglected progeny (on foot or in strollers) point to rocks or strain to look back at a garden display.

At what point will we look back on the era that we became addicted to our phones as an aberration, a temporary madness that we let seize us?

Pierre Jardin expresses gratitude to fellow punster and petromaniac Jack Levy for the petrified wood pieces that compose the first and third lines of the message.

Petriverse Welcomes in 2019

Pierre Jardin strives to send positive vibrations into the world, using the beauty of stones and the gift of language. This year he ushered in the new year with two messages.

h nw yr rain

A wish for peace to envelop the world features the green earth stone from the Yuha desert; here, a slight likeness of a face or skull can be seen, like the man in the moon. Perhaps this betokens the coming of a much-needed, more planet-centered outlook for humanity. In the spirit of caring for the environment, Pierre Jardin offers this message for passersby to consider, as they make their way to shop for groceries at a local store.

no plastic

Hashtag GREEN 19!


Winter Solstice 2018

Held at The Garden of Slow Time at Loyola Marymount University, this Solstice celebration was offered in a spirit of hope for humanity to come together with and on the earth in cooperation rather than competition. The Earth Stone–a hard, shiny green rock from the Yuha desert at the U.S-Mexico border (note symbolic location)–was placed in the center of the labyrinth, where the Solstice Stone casts its shadow at sunset.

This year, the setting sun was graced by the simultaneous rising of an auspicious Cold Full Moon.This conjunction of heavenly bodies was accompanied by world musician Paul Humphreys, who played a beautiful birdsong as labyrinth walkers sent their thoughts into the atmosphere.

Winter Solstice 2018 was a numinous ritual blessed by luminous bodies above and human ones below. We all felt a sweet, shared awe at the beauty of this special occasion, and bring this glowing energy into the holiday season and new year. The light is coming!


Rock Records 0

In celebration of Rock Records, a special issue of SubStance, Pierre Jardin is creating a themed series of installations in The Petriverse.

I heart to play rock record

Jardin loves to ‘play the rock record.’  All work related to the garden is play: collecting rocks at the beach or in the desert, recontextualizing them in the garden, assembling them in compositions, are all guises of “playing rocks.” Compositions are recordings of the rock record; Jardin attempts to “play rocks” for spectators, to make manifest the silent concert of rock groups. He becomes a DJ playing rock records for passersby, making stones POP to the eye and pop-rock for the ear.